A new online database contains health insurance information for more than 95 percent of Michigan's 551 public school districts, according to Michael Van Beek, director of education policy. In more than 300 plans, teachers do not contribute a single penny toward the cost of their own premiums. Health insurance for school employees costs Michigan taxpayers nearly $2 billion per year.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus points out that while the average Michigan resident pays about 22 percent of the cost of their own health insurance premiums, teachers on average pay slightly more than 4 percent.

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According to The Kalamazoo Gazette, four districts out of 30 in that county pay the entire cost of teachers' premiums, while 18 pay the entire cost of administrators' premiums.

WATZ in Alpena reported that while the average family health insurance policy in Michigan costs about $11,300, family plans for teachers cost an average of $15,800.

The Midland Daily News reported that teachers in Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties pay 4.6 percent of the cost for their own premiums. That paper in a separate editorial also called on school officials to "end the disparity" in health insurance costs between teachers and private-sector employees.

The Grand Rapids Press notes that teachers pay about 2 percent, or $335, toward a policy that costs $15,372.

The Muskegon Chronicle said the analysis shows most teachers in Muskegon County do not contribute any money toward their own health insurance.

AnnArbor.com notes that nearly 1,000 of the 1,200 teachers in Ann Arbor Public Schools contribute money toward their premiums. Van Beek noted that AAPS "is on the forefront of having employees contribute. That kind of system is what a lot of schools would benefit from."

 

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